Cheese and Chocolate

We slept well. I was feeling a little better and the day was just glorious so we determined that we had to go out, after of course, I had done the washing.

Breakfast was eggs, ham and tomato washed down with a coffee followed by strawberries and red grapefruit juice. John had a cheese and jambon sandwich. He was so interested in his iPad that I had to chase him around with his coffee. Eventually got the washing going and decided to stay until it was done. It is a communal laundry so I thought it best to take my clothes away. We have to write down when we use the machine and dryer and there is a levy that the residents have agreed to. I have not quite worked out how many units there are and who lives where. I think there are four. I think Pauline said friends bought two and they bought two. A Welsh couple live above us. They have lived here for thirty years and in Switzerland for forty-two. Have no idea what they did for a living but I will find out. We met Bob and Audrey this morning. Audrey was washing as she had heaps of laundry to do as her son had just married a Russian girl last weekend and today he (they?) were off to Oman. We asked her for directions and so she brought out the big guns…Bob, who knows everything. In fact he was a wealth of knowledge and really happy to oblige us. He loaned us a map and gave explicit written instructions as to how to get to a variety of places and most importantly, how to get home again.

The washing was done and we began our sojourn, first stop Gstaad, well we probably stopped a few times before we reached Gstaad. What an amazing journey. Mountains soared above us, ravines dropped away and creeks, swollen with snow melt, rushed and bubbled and sang as they careered to lakes below. The colours of spring dazzled us. Meadows of lush green grass were sprayed with yellow daisies. New lime leaves contrasted sharply with the dark of the evergreen pines. Patches of snow invited us to play.

Finally we arrived in Gstaad in time for lunch of schnitzel, fries and salad. It was incredibly quiet as we expected being completely out of season. It was good to see though. From there we headed north to Gruyeres. Again the scenery came alive and constantly stopped us in our tracks. We had intended to head for the fromagerie but we were distracted by the castle of Gruyeres. It was a beautifully preserved medieval walled town with a museum. The castle was constructed between 1270 and 1282 but it’s history got really interesting in the late 1400s. Fortunately in the mid 1800s it was purchased by the Bovy brothers, restored and made into a tourist attraction. Daniel Bovy was an artist and invited a selection of friends to cover walls, complete paintings and tapestries which depicted the stories telling the history of the castle. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

On to the fromagerie to buy some Gruyere – the tour was closed- and then to Broc to the chocolate factory. This was the earliest Nesle factory and apparently the production line that is shown on the tour is the original way the chocolate was made. Yes we were too late for that too. Not deterred we went to the shop purchased a couple of items and decided to have coffee and hot chocolate. John ordered a hot chocolate with spices. OMG!!!! It had the consistency of cream and it was rich!! We combined it with the cappuccino but even so we were unable to finish it. We suffered a little on the way home and resolved not to have chocolate for at least a year.

Col des Mosses lies at 1445m and is definitely my pick if I ever have the opportunity to ski in this area. It is spread out with delightful Swiss chalets right on the slopes and lots of what look like ‘baby’ slopes. I am sure there are ample blue and black runs…I mean we are at the top of the mountain!!  We had to jump out and have a play in the snow. Well, it really was ice by now, but it was still fun.

We returned to Leysin tired but decided a drink in a bar would make the day perfect. That was easier said than done. Everything seems closed. There doesn’t appear to be anyone around. We went to a couple of bars but to no avail, but never let it be said that we are not persistent. We found Le Fromargerie. It was a restaurant with a bar and a museum thrown in. We ventured in and was warm and homely and served great beer. It completed our perfect day.

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